At the cross-section of the discursive strategies for human progress born in the fires of the enlightenment, Pietro Marcello's Martin Eden is a rapturous examination of humanity's seemingly eternal struggle, one which firmly revives the period drama through its intoxicating formalism and stunning central performance. The story of a young writer who finds himself stuck between two distinct worlds, unwilling to succumb to authoritative ideals of human progress in which oppression lurks behind the ideals of social, political, or economic change, Martin Eden manages to be intimate yet exhaustive, featuring a sumptuous cinematic language of vitality and romanticism in which one man's ethical conviction leads him down a path of alienation. Intoxicating yet incisive, the true power of ideas is a salient theme which reverberates throughout the film's structuralism and yet the film recognizes the destructive aspects of such power, being confrontational towards vapid notions of utopian political or economic rhetoric. Pulsating with ideals centered around mutualism, libertarian socialism, and anarchism while wisely never being heterodox in approach, Martin Eden's narrative trajectory and denouement posits much of humanity's contentious nature as not only a biproduct of social stratification but perhaps more importantly humanity's hubris when it comes to our relationship with our ecological environment. Incapable or unwilling to accept the destructive nature of humankind's penchant for control, power, or authority over nature, Martin Eden's personal journey of self discovery - class stratification purveyed through a doomed bourgeoisie romance and his rejection of collectivist proclivities centralized power - becomes an astute yet cynical amalgamation of humanity, one in which self-destruction is driven by dogma and hubris - utopian ideas placing too much weight on the ubiquitous nature of unadulterated "good" or "progress" driven by our believe that we can transcend nature.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.